Three weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Bloomingdale, a suburb of Chicago, and get to know all about NOW, the amazing company I’ve been partnering with since January of 2016. For the second year in a row, NOW and Fitfluential have teamed up together to give a behind-the-scenes look at their company, products, and what makes them so unique in the healthy living products industry. It was truly an honor to be included in such an exciting excursion.
We arrived at the hotel and were greeted with lots of snacks and a huge goodie bag waiting for us in our hotel room- like, MEGA huge, which you’ll get an opportunity to win so stick around!!
After freshening up we were off to Glen Prairie Restaurant, a farm-table style restaurant specializing in using local ingredients. I LOVE these kinds of restaurants because the everything always tastes so fresh. I started with an arugula salad featuring golden beets, chose the salmon with snap peas and fingerling potatoes for dinner, and ended the night with some coffee ice cream <-which is actually very unlike me, I typically go for the brownie. I suppose I was feeling adventurous. My apologies for the lack of dinner photos, the room was very dark!
Anyways, I got to sit next to Megan and Erin, and on the end of the table with Kelly, CEO and founder of Fitfluential. It was seriously incredible and so inspiring. We chatted all about healthy living and the importance of taking care of our bodies, avoiding artificial junk, and what an enormous impact the food we eat has on our overall well-being. And not only that but finding balance in our lives. We all touched base on our experiences with food and working out, and the mindset shift of working out to look good versus working out to feel good from the inside out. I could go on and on, it was truly awesome.
During dinner we were also introduced to Jim Emme, the CEO of NOW and Dan Richard who is son of the founder, Elwood Richard. They gave us a little background info on the company, and it was clear right from the get-go how much NOW’s leaders truly believe in their products and have a passion for sharing quality, affordable products. They have been a family-owned company since their beginning in 1968! NOW manufactures and distributes more than 1,400 dietary supplements, natural foods, sports nutrition and personal care products. While I was familiar with several of their products before beginning my partnership with them, but I had no idea just how many different lines of products they had. Everything from sports nutrition to essential oils!
The next morning we hopped on the bus at 6am for an HIIT workout at Lifetime Fitness. It was set up with three different exercises with three rounds of each, along with 45 seconds of cardio bursts in between. I love these kinds of workouts because they work your entire body, and it is pretty much impossible to get bored because you’re constantly moving and doing different exercises. We also cooled down with a bit of yoga and stretching before hopping back on the bus where we got to gulp down some delicious blueberry coconut protein shakes using NOW Sports Plant Protein Complex.
Next stop was the NOW Operations Facility, where they presented a brief video of the history of the company, and we got to tour their huge facility.
It was incredible to view their facility and how all of their ingredients and products get tested, sorted, made, packaged, etc. Something we spent a length of time on during the tour was how not all stevia is created equal. NOW ensures their stevia is extracted in a very particular process, which results in a less bitter stevia, hence why they call their stevia line, “Better Stevia”.
After the tour we traveled to NOW’s corporate offices for a Whole Foods catered lunch (HECK YES) and a wellness presentation by Dr. Wendy Bazilian. Personally I loved this presentation. It was all about food tribes, i.e. associating yourself with a particular group of people who share common beliefs around food. Some examples of food tribes would be: paleo, gluten-free, vegan, low carb, etc. Wendy also touched base on scientific findings on diets and sports performance. Something I’d certainly love to learn more about.
After lunch we then got to try our hand at making a homemade DIY mat spray and bath soak using NOW’s personal care line of essential oils. It was my time doing anything like that, truth be told, and let’s just say I didn’t follow the directions very closely. I had some pretty strong smelling mat spray…
Our final stop was in NOW Food’s test kitchen, AKA the Culinary Innovation Center .<-I’m going to start calling my kitchen that.
Chef Suzy led us in an oil sampling (which apparently is a real thing, like wine tasting) and we got to taste all of the oils from their Ellyndale Foods line. While I do love me some healthy fats, I am not sure I love oil tasting as much as wine tasting… But it was still super fun.
Then before sending us off, they set up a wonderful “build your own” salad jar. Yes, JAR. Like mason jar salads! I’ve had mason jar salads before, but never thought to bring one along as a plane snack. I typically try to avoid eating at airports because it’s so darn expensive, and this is actually a pretty clever way of bringing your own fulfilling meal. I’m seriously doing this next time I fly!
So that’s about it! The trip was such an awesome experience and I am so grateful to be in partnership with such an amazing company! Not to mention it is always fun meeting blogging friends in real life 😀
Now for >> FREE STUFF.
NOW Foods is doing a MEGA giveaway of the goody bag we received upon our arrival at the hotel. It’s seriously humongous and you DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS.
Use the widget below and just follow the prompts! Giveaway ends July 8th, 2016. Good luck!
Here is a little video NOW shared too so you can check out all the fun!